As a father of two sons, my wife and I talk often about the kind of young women we would love for them to meet and marry someday. We talk about those with our sons too. God has created men and women with a hardwired set of passions and abilities. These come alive as they experience the grace and love of God in Jesus Christ. They reach a new level of fulfillment and joy in the relationship of marriage.
Knowing something about those desires, then having the patience to wait for the right one and time can bring greater joy to marriage. Within every man is a hardwired desire to want to be admired, respected, and accomplished. Also within the heart of every man is a desire to sacrifice. A man longs to have a reason to work hard, someone to fight for, someone to protect, and a cause that he give himself completely to.
The need to have a woman who will be that one for a man is deeper than the need for her to be physically perfect, talented, wealthy, or popular. A man longs for a woman who will receive what he does for her with gratefulness and appreciation. This passion comes from the core of who he is. When he finds the one who ignites his heart at this level, it will fill him with drive, passion, and love to lay down his life in sacrifice.
The Bible describes the passion and purpose of a man ignited with this kind of love…
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy,cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. Ephesians 5:25-31
Guys should consider this passion and purpose when considering a date and mate in a young woman. The “right” one will be the one that causes his heart to overflow with not just attraction for her outward beauty, but deep passion for who she is as a woman loved and freed by God. He will desire to sacrifice and serve as he discovers these 10 things about her:
She finds her identity in being loved by God
One of the most valuable qualities to look for in a young woman is in how she sees herself before God. How she sees herself will determine everything about how she thinks, chooses, dreams, feels, and relates. Guys! You cannot miss this one! There are so many other things that women will look to for their identity: appearance, popularity, talent, possessions, brands, spiritual/churchy-performance, accomplishments, etc. Find the one who is free from those and knows where her heart rests and you will have discovered a treasure!
She’s free to be herself without fear of what others think
A young woman that is confident in who she is before God will be free to be herself with others. She will be free from crippling fear of what others think. A woman enslaved by that fear will not be able to relax, be open, or be honest. She will feel the pressure to pretend, perform, and please in order to be liked by others. She will compromise and live as someone different for each person she seeks to impress. Look for the woman who is free from this pressure because she knows she is loved, accepted, forgiven, and free in Christ.
She’s free from anger, resentment, and bitterness
Another symptom that reveals a woman’s heart is not free is anger, resentment, and bitterness. When these are present in her life it is clear that she relates with a high standard of expectation, demands, and “do-to-get”. She will be happy when things are going her way, but will become almost impossible to live with when things don’t go her way. Look for a woman who is free from instant anger, seething bitterness, and a sense of entitlement or revenge.
She regularly expresses genuine gratefulness
The evidence of a heart that has experienced genuine love in the center of who they are is gratefulness. The woman who has experienced grace will regularly express gratitude. She will say it with her words. She will say it with her tone of voice. She will say it with her life. She lives knowing the joy of what she has received and what it means to receive.
She delights in being made beautiful by God
The things we see here on earth are mere external pictures of greater spiritual realities. Outward beauty is a shadow and glimpse of greater inward beauty. Guys, look for a woman who finds her greatest delight in that she has been made beautiful by the love of Christ. Look for a woman who finds her greatest joy in being forgiven, made clean, accepted, treasured, adored, and made righteous by Christ. This woman has discovered the reality of beauty.
She regularly and passionately is involved in serving others
Women have different motivations for the things that they do – even good things. The woman who has a heart of love and gratefulness will passionately serve others from a heart of gratitude. It will come from the overflow of her heart. You’ll know it’s true when they serve and afterwards don’t complain. They won’t compare others to themselves. They won’t criticize what others do. They will serve and afterwards be happy, fulfilled, and grateful!
She expresses appreciation for her father or other significant males in her life
Not every woman has had the privilege of having a loving father. Some have experienced difficulties with their father and even other male figures in their life. One of the things to look for in a woman is how she sees, thinks of, and relates to males in her life. Does she have respect? Does she express appreciation? How she sees and relates to the males in her life will drive how she relates to you! Watch, listen, observe. Look beyond the surface and save yourself from potential heartache!
She talks openly about her love for God
This one is tricky. There are women who will talk about God. But there are not many who will talk about God in terms of their personal relationship with Him. How does she talk about God? Does she talk about Him with relevance to her own hurts, experiences of life, and joys? Does she talk about Him with gratefulness, peace, and a sense of rest? Does she see Him as a God to be appeased or as One who has found her delightful in Christ? How she speaks about Him reveals much about her heart!
She speaks with words and tones of kindness and encouragement
Proverbs 31:26 says that this about the woman that knows God, “She opens her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” Listen to what a woman says. Listen to how she talks to others. Listen to what she says in difficult times. Listen to what she says to those who hurt her. Listen to what she says when others are hurting. What she says in those times reveals her heart and reveals most likely what she will say to you when you are hurt, accidently hurt her, or when you need a word of hope.
She has self-discipline, direction, and passion
A woman who is truly alive with the love of God in her heart will have within her a burning passion. She knows how to live under the inspiration and motivation of God! She appreciates what others provide, but she knows what drives her heart. The woman described in Proverbs 31 in the Scriptures had that kind of passion. She lived with passion and purpose. She lived without need for approval from others. She worked without expectation of what she might get in return. She gave herself away sincerely, passionately, and freely. And it all grew out of a heart that had first learned how to receive.
These are worth waiting for in a young woman! The temptation of men is to be allured by outward beauty and overlook the qualities that will define who she is and how she relates. These are what will impact a marriage.
In looking for a potential wife, look for a woman who knows how to receive and as a result is grateful. Look for a woman that you will find great delight in serving! Do you have the kind of love for her that will go beyond the moment? Will your love enable you to sacrifice sleep, time, personal wants, money, and your life?
Guys! Follow the trail of gratefulness in a woman. Wait for more than an attractive figure and an alluring smile! Don’t buy into the hope that she may one day develop these qualities. Look for them in her now! The wait will be worth it!